A federal district court judge ruled on Monday that Philadelphia’s ban on salary history inquiries violates Freedom of Speech.
With this ruling, employers in Philadelphia would be able to ask about salary history, but they would not be able to use the information when making a decision on what to pay the individual (unless the applicant willingly disclosed it).
It seems that this would put this in the same general category as other so-called “illegal” questions like “are you married?” or “what religion are you?” None of these questions are actually illegal, but relying on them when making a hiring decision is. And since the mere fact of asking the question opens you up to accusations, best practice is to simply avoid them, even when making small talk.
Similarly, even if salary history bans across the nation are ruled on the same way, likely best practice would still be to avoid the question to avoid any hint of impropriety.
GIS clients – and avid readers – should keep their eyes peeled for a full compliance alert on this topic coming soon!